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MONEY CAN'T BUY LOVE -- IF YOU'RE LUCKY

Dear Ann Landers: I am a 45-year-old man, semi-retired and well off financially. I prefer to live modestly. No one would guess I have money. I buy my suits off the rack, have a small apartment, and my car is 3 years old.

After my high-school sweetheart died, I never had any desire to marry. However, several months ago, I met "Julie" and fell head over heels in love. She is divorced with two young children. After a whirlwind courtship, Julie decided she hadn't totally recovered from her divorce and felt I was rushing her. She asked me to back off, and I did. Now, she has broken it off completely.

I am devastated and wonder if I should have told her about my financial situation. It might have made a difference. Perhaps she would have felt more secure about her children's future. Do you think it's too late to tell her now? Was I wrong not to reveal my financial situation at the beginning of our relationship? Please tell me what to do. It's obvious that I don't have all the answers.

-- A Dallas Bachelor
Dear Dallas Bachelor: Do you honestly believe the woman would have been more interested if she knew you had money? If the answer is "yes," why would you want her? Consider yourself lucky. You missed a speeding bullet.

Offer to repay money

Dear Ann Landers: I recently married a beautiful, highly principled woman who has three wonderful children from a previous marriage. Her ex-husband did not pay child support at first, so she worked two jobs to make ends meet. Even so, she couldn't quite manage. Her father, out of kindness, gave her a salaried position at his office to make up the difference. To justify her salary, she occasionally did odd jobs for him.

Her ex-husband finally got a job and now pays child support regularly, plus an additional $100 a month toward the payments he missed. Should we be giving my father-in-law that extra $100 to repay his kindness? He has never treated this money as a loan, but it always seemed that way to me. -- Lafayette, Ind.
Dear Lafayette: The classy thing to do is to make the offer. If he resists, thank him graciously, and congratulate yourself on having a first-rate father-in-law.

A weighty issue

Dear Ann Landers: My wife, "Della," is a nice-looking woman with a major weight problem. This does not bother me, but Della is in denial about it. She wears tight-fitting clothes and stretch pants, which accentuate the extra poundage. It's not a pretty sight. What's more surprising is that she is extremely vain about her appearance and simply does not see herself the way she really is.

When I mentioned that looser clothes might be more flattering, she didn't speak to me for three days. Any ideas?

-- Enduring It in North Carolina
Dear N.C.: lay off. The woman will not do anything about her weight problem until she is good and ready. Your comments, while well-intended, are not helpful.

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